I believe in the possibility of change. I believe most people are good and desire to do the right thing. Change can be difficult for people because we need predictability. Sometimes, we cling to certain behaviors and situations because of this need. When offered an environment that promotes and encourages self-care many clients move in a positive direction toward health and growth in their relationships and view of themselves. Whether, working with an individual or a family system, the relationships of past and present impact the overall mental health of the individual. I have never met a client for individual therapy whose issues did not involve some kind of relationship dynamic.
Violence in families is not OK, and domestic violence is harmful to children. I have seen this firsthand, friends who grew up in abusive homes, my work as a probation officer and now my work with family law court have demonstrated the destructiveness of abuse to the fabric of families.
These and other experiences sparked my interest in the field of psychology and family therapy, leading to my current career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. It was a natural progression after working for five years in psychiatric hospitals, two years as a group counselor at juvenile hall, and working as an adult probation officer for eight years.
As a therapist it is my view that personal responsibility and satisfactory relationships are the basis for healthy living. In therapy my goal is to strengthen relationships and help individuals to be responsible for their own feelings and actions. I enjoy working with individuals, couples and families, who are caught in dysfunctional behavior patterns helping them to discover new and more functional behaviors.
In addition, I work with teens that are depressed some demonstrating their pain by self injury such as cutting behaviors; helping teen boys who have engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviors; and men’s issues related to anger and domestic abuse.
Working with divorced or divorcing parents to improve their communications and problem solving skills to help them learn the art of co-parenting is of great satisfaction due to the potential positive outcome for the children when they are no longer caught up in parental acrimony. As a family therapist, I involve both parents whenever possible when working with children whether or not the parents are together.
I only write progress reports to courts. I do not write reports making recommendations as to custody and visitation determining whom the children should or should not reside with. It is unethical behavior for a therapist to engage in more than one role at a time. The counselor is either the therapist or an evaluator but not both at the same time.
The goal of a family therapist should be to improve and strengthen relationships, communication and bonding. It is imperative not to violate the trust by allowing session disclosures to be used by feuding parents in court proceedings. To do so further embroils children in parental conflicts. Confidentiality is the core of therapy and what makes it work.
My expertise is creating an environment that allows clients to feel comfortable, supported, and engaged. This helps people to open up and talk about themselves, behaviors and experiences they may otherwise keep secret or suffer with silently in shame.
I have a well-defined view of change, and a belief in the need for family connections that can be a healing force. My goal is to help clients reclaim the strength and emotional well being that can be found in satisfactory and supportive relationships.